Vaccine developer Bavarian Nordic entered a license and supply agreement for its multivalent MVA-BN Filovirus vaccine candidate—designed to protect against Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, and Marburg virus—with Crucell Holland, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Per the deal, Janssen is paying Bavarian Nordic $25 million up front for the vaccine, plus Bavarian Nordic will be entitled to up to $20 million in development and regulatory milestones as well as royalties for commercial sales outside Africa. Janssen, Bavarian Nordic adds, will be in charge of all costs associated with developing and commercializing the vaccine. Bavarian Nordic says it also plans to scale up its production, aiming to manufacture more than 1 million doses of the vaccine valued at $99.3 million, of which Janssen will make an upfront payment of $70.8 million. The remaining $28.5 million, the firm adds, will be received pro rata with deliveries in 2015.
Janssen is currently working with authorities including the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as part of an effort to speed up the development and production of an Ebola vaccine to help contain the current outbreak in West Africa. J&J announced plans back in September to partner with Bavarian Nordic and NIAID to develop an Ebola vaccine quickly enough to start trials in humans early next year. According to Bavarian Nordic, a combination vaccine regimen of the MVA-BN Filovirus vaccine and Janssen’s AdVac® technology recently demonstrated complete protection against Ebola in preclinical studies—promising enough results for Janssen to undertake further development of the vaccine combination.
“Our goal to produce more than a million vaccines in the next few months is within reach,” Paul Stoffels, M.D., Johnson & Johnson's CSO and worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. “Ebola is a significant and growing threat to the people of West Africa and it has the potential to impact people around the world. We are committed to bringing our science, technology, innovation and resources to help prevent and treat this deadly disease.”